Whither Carson Wentz: Jalen Hurts Peers Over His Shoulder

When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts with a surprise 2nd round pick, specuclation took off as to why. Many pundits were dumbfounded with the selection where fans argued the Eagles would use him as trade bait. The Chancellor of Football took a different approach… Hurts was insurance against Wentz not making it back to his 2017 pre-injury form.

Lets be honest his battle is psychological as he is reeling from the fallout from watching his understudy win Super Bowl LII. Once Nick Foles carried the Eagles to that title he has pressed to live up to his $128 million contract and 1st round status. 

Opening with 2 losses has dropped Wentz to 14-15 as the starting QB since his injury late in the 2017 season. This doesn’t include the NFC Wildcard loss when Wentz was knocked from the game by Jaedevon Clowney. Now sure he has said the right thing after the team moved on from Foles. Then said the right things after signing his contract extension yet something is missing.

Wentz has been accused of changing the plays Coach Pederson sent in and his personality has alienated several of his former offensive teammates. Many would be considered in the in the Foles camp as Wentz comes off as aloof and “not a locker room guy.” Many fans want to dismiss it yet he is surrounded by new receivers and running backs. At some point the issue is the quarterback. The offense is the same and the two constants are Pederson and Wentz. 

In 2 games this team has failed to score 20 points in either contest. Carson has completed just 58.5% of his passes having gone 50 of 85 for 512 yards 2TDs and 4 interceptions. Which includes 8 sacks and he has been as indecisive taking the sacks as he has where he’s gone with the football. This is from the team whose continuity at the quarterback position made them an NFC East favorite and now they’re in the basement looking up at a Washington team that doesn’t even have a logo.

If Carson looks bad in a 3rd straight performance its time to sit him down. Even if we look back in Eagles history 1st round pick Donovan McNabb was forced into the lineup due to ineffective play by starter Doug Pederson… uh yes the same man who is now coach back in week 2 of ’99:

The Chancellor has been saying all along the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts as insurance and this is where it pays off. Everyone always says the right thing about the rookie QB not being ready. Well the offense can be tailored to Hurts’ strength as young signal callers are making their way even when forced into action. See Justin Herbert’s performance last week for the LA Chargers.

There is no perfect time to put a rookie quarterback in there. Sometimes its a baptism by fire…

If the Eagles give another knock kneed performance its time to turn it over to see what Hurts can do. 

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2020 NFL Draft: Wither Jalen Hurts – Shameful Impatience with Black QBs Take Two

As we approach the 2020 NFL Draft one of the interesting questions is “Why isn’t Jalen Hurts thought of as a 1st round draft pick?” At first glance this is a throw back to the plight of the disrespected black quarterback.

Another take is how Hurts and Oklahoma were overwhelmed in a 63-28 Peach Bowl loss to eventual champion LSU with Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Was the moment too big for Hurts??

Of course not..

Didn’t Jalen Hurts quarterback Alabama to the National Championship Game as a freshman 4 years ago?? How did he become the most forgotten signal caller in this year’s draft class??

One of the attributes Hurts has been able to forge was his strength of character after his controversial benching during the 2018 National Championship Game. Hurts had struggled all season in maturing with hitting the open receiver downfield. Speculation loomed that Coach Saban would turn to the new flavor of the month in Tua Tagovailoa. When he did at halftime of the championship game, Hurts took it admirably. He didn’t sulk, make any tense moments on the sideline and displayed a team first mentality throughout. This was a benching with 50 million viewers watching.

Isn’t this an attribute NFL teams profess they want to know all the time? How will a franchise QB respond when things go against him??

Hurts didn’t say a word backing up Tua the next season and then became a graduate transfer to become an Oklahoma Sooner. Under the watchful eye of Coach Lincoln Riley, Hurts developed into a QB no one saw when he left Alabama. The ability to read coverage and deliver the medium to deep throw was now a sharply refined part of his game. Hurts became the 1st QB to lead two different teams into the College Football Playoff and was a Heisman Trophy Finalist.

His passing improvement in Norman vs. his last full season at Alabama?

  • Alabama 2017 – 154 of 255 (60.4%) for 2,081 yds 17 TDs 1 int. (150.2 rating)
  • Oklahoma 2019 – 237 of 340 (69.7%) for 3,821 yds 32 TDs 8 ints (191.6 rating)

He learned a completely new offense and improved on his skill under a new coach to this degree in 4 months while being voted a captain!

Isn’t this the number one issue with quarterbacks making the jump to the NFL?? Quarterbacks ability to learn in the classroom then translate it to the practice field then into the game. Talk to me about Marcus Mariota, Mitch Trubisky, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston, Dwayne Haskins over the last two years.

Now add his rushing statistics from Oklahoma: 233 att for 1,298 yards and 20 TDs and now you’re in Lamar Jackson territory. Upon further review Hurts had 52 combined TDs to Jackson’s 51in his last season at Louisville. Wasn’t Jackson last year’s Taylor Blitz Player of the Year along with a unanimous NFL MVP??

If Hurts is perceived a better passer than Jackson how is he thought of as a 3rd round selection?? This is the next in line of dual threat QBs behind Super Bowl MVP and former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson and is given the cold shoulder by a media that keeps devaluing black quarterbacks at draft time.

So here we are again with the sequel to The NFL’s Shameful Impatience With Black Quarterbacks.

Heisman winner Joe Burrow had a season for the ages and deserves to be the number one pick but no one else should be up with Hurts. Google the top QBs in the 2020 draft class and Hurts isn’t even in the top 5 according to Athlon Sports. They have him 8th behind Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, and Nate Stanley of Iowa. These guys can’t be serious…

Nate Stanley of Iowa??

Justin Herbert of Oregon??

Jacob Eason of Washington??

Jordan Love of Utah State??

Hurts starred facing SEC defenses and faced ‘Bama’s 2nd string in practice which is better than any Pac 12 defense. These guys are going to try to match up to NFL speed on defense based on what? Thanks to the Corona Virus… no OTAs either so when are they going to be up to speed?

No wonder I stopped reading Athlon and started writing. These teams that keep drafting by the book and have been losing for 30 years need to do something different and look at the trend at QB. Hurts’ entire college career has been a trial by fire to match what he will have to go through entering the pro ranks. No one, including Joe Burrow has proven they have the mettle to do it more than Hurts.

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